WATCH Menuisier hungry for more top-level success with Wonderful Tonight
It is a year since Wonderful Tonight won the Lillie Langtry Stakes at the 2021 Qatar Goodwood Festival for West Sussex trainer David Menuisier.
A winner of five group races, including two Group One’s, this would turn out to be her final career victory after connections were forced to retire her due to injury last September.
Speaking from his Coombelands Racing Stables, Menuisier reflected fondly on his memories of the filly, as he said: “It means the world to have trained a filly like Wonderful Tonight because that’s what everybody works for.
"Only a handful of trainers in the UK will get the chance to train a Group One horse or a Group One winner, so it makes you feel very privileged. We thought she might be quite good but then ‘quite good’ doesn’t mean nothing. It means maybe winning a maiden and going onto better things or becoming a good handicapper, so you never know.
"The real defining moment is when she won the Prix Minerve as a three-year-old in Deauville. That’s when we started to think we might have a real special filly on our hands.”
Menuisier is not resting on past achievements though and is evidently keen to taste success at the highest level again as he continued: “We still remain grounded because what is important is to add more wins, not your last big one, but it is very special to be part of an exclusive club. Once you’ve tasted success you just want more.”
Goodwood is a racecourse which means a lot to Menuisier, not only because it is his local track as he added: “Goodwood is our local track, but it is also a picturesque, scenic place. It is probably one of the most amazing tracks in the world. It’s always a privilege and a real honour to have a winner there. You have to have everything, a bit like Epsom, you have to have speed, agility, stamina. It makes the racing very interesting and competitive.”
One horse with winning form at Goodwood is Soto Sizzler and he looks set to represent Menuisier on the Sussex Downs next week. He said: “I think the Chesterfield Cup will suit Soto Sizzler. I think he has been a revelation this year over 1m2f. He ran a really good race at Sandown the other day in a very competitive listed race. Going back to handicapping at a place he likes, I think he will be competitive. In an ideal world I would like the ground to be proper good ground which I think it should be so I’m really looking forward to that race.”
The rapidly improving Caius Chorister has been a wide-margin winner the last twice, and while the Melrose Handicap remains her main target, Menuisier is tempted to take Goodwood in too en-route to York. He said: “Caius Chorister is improving the further she goes up in trip. She should keep improving when she runs over 1m6f or 2m.
After her first win at Epsom somebody mentioned Goodwood and I said she was too lowly rated but considering she has gone up a lot since there are now a couple of races for her.
"I’m not saying she will definitely go because ultimately my target with her is the Melrose Handicap at the Ebor Festival. I just feel she may be a bit too lowly rated to get in and she may need one more run to get in, and if I had to then Goodwood would be my place of choice."